November 2018
As We Roll Into December, 'Tis the Season for 7Reads
Every year at this time, District 7 students are introduced to new names and faces in the world of literature - visiting authors who are invited to classrooms across the District as part of a literacy initiative called, 7Reads. The program, which began more than a decade ago, was originally established to encourage students to make time for summer reading.

Today, 7Reads is a year-round effort that includes a wide range of activities and is rooted in a number of community partnerships. On December 4, students at Spartanburg High School will meet bestselling novelist, Kristina McMorris, who captures the hardships of the Great Depression in her new book, Sold on a Monday. On November 16, it was author Derrius Quarles who took to the podium at SHS to let students know how he raked in more than $1M in college scholarships. In his book entitled, Million Dollar Scholar, the 28-year-old entrepreneur recounts his path from poverty to earn enough scholarship money to attend Morehouse College and to travel to more than 21 countries.
Raising Dollars for Dolly's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton may be best known for her soulful country music, but for the past two decades she's poured her heart and soul into promoting early childhood literacy.

As we celebrate the 12-year anniversary of our own literacy program called, 7Reads, and on the heels of our annual United Way campaign, it's the perfect time to highlight the importance of reading by supporting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Sponsored locally by our United Way of the Piedmont, the Imagination Library delivers age-appropriate books every month to children ages birth to five, and just $30 enrolls a child for one year.

Currently, there is a waiting list for more than 500 children hoping to join the program. So, District 7 is raising Dollars for Dolly!
Our schools and classrooms will be collecting funds during the week of December 10 and it's our hope you will join us by making a donation at:

Long live the Imagination Library and thank you for helping us support our littlest learners!
Food Drives Across D7 Feed Hundreds at Thanksgiving
With gratitude a'plenty and blessings to count, District 7 students from kindergarten to high school coordinated a number of Thanksgiving food drives this month in support of the community. At Drayton Mills Elementary School, the generosity started early with an October sock drive called, Socktober. In November, the DMES Dalmatians collected more than 1,500 cans and boxes of food for their Thomas the Turkey Can Drive, with proceeds going to Miracle Hill Ministries. A few blocks away, students at Spartanburg High School collected more than 4,000 cans of food and celebrated their largest ever, " Feed a Family" Thanksgiving Drive. The Feed a Family initiative provided 215 families with a full bag of groceries and all the makings for a complete Thanksgiving day meal!
New Clubs at Mary H. Wright Give Girls Wings to Soar
There are two new clubs at Mary H. Wright Elementary School that are taking center stage this year! Thanks to a group of staff members at the school who started "Princess Wednesday" last year, a similar effort for older students is now growing in popularity. "We designed Princess Wednesday to help our girls in grades 3-5 build self esteem," said teacher Alexis Fox. "Since then, we've added The Butterfly Club which targets girls just in grades 4 and 5. We wanted to provide something special for these select young ladies who have been identified for mentorship. Throughout the year, we will cover topics such as; civic engagement, etiquette, conflict resolution, service and community involvement and social and emotional skills. Our motto in T he Butterfly Club is to be better than what you were yesterday .”
Hovercraft Project Flies Into Pine Street For a Second Year
It's a proven fact that children learn better by doing...and when "doing" is the chance to build a real flying saucer, in the words of one fifth-grader, learning is "incredibly cool!" For the second year in a row, The Hovercraft Project   took over the lunchroom at Pine Street School, in a collaborative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) experience involving more than 100 fifth-grade students. In a matter of hours, the children worked together to solve problems, analyze data, and communicate effectively to produce a fleet of fully functional, safe and reusable hovercrafts. Teacher Lori Patterson found the project last year while searching for STEAM related initiatives and collaborated with science teacher Susan Hoffman to submit a grant proposal to the Pine Street School Foundation. Ms. Hoffman said this was much more than hands-on learning; this was minds-on learning. "The students were collaborating, solving problems and using their critical thinking skills which are all real-world skills." Hoffman added, "The best part is they don’t even know they’re learning because they're having so much fun.”
Dr. Gloria Close Honored as
Volunteer Philanthropist of the Year e
Anyone who's ever worked with District 7's Gloria Close will tell you she's a lot like Wonder Woman! You have to wonder how one woman can do so much for so many. As a long time guidance counselor in our schools, and an integral member of The Viking Early College, Close is most often found helping our students chart their course to college and career. In her spare time, she's the executive director for the Citizen Scholars Institute, a board member for The Girl Scouts of the Piedmont and a relentless crusader for dozens of students and their families who find themselves without a permanent place to call home through her C.A.S.T. (Care, Accept, Share, Teach) program. This month, in honor of her tremendous gifts to the Spartanburg community, Dr. Close was recognized as the Volunteer Philanthropist of the Year, by the S.C .Piedmont Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as part of National Philanthropy Day.
Dr. Close can add one more feather to her cap as last Thursday evening, Nov 29, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal announced her as one of their Women of Achievement. On behalf of your District 7 family, congratulations Dr. Close!

Be sure to watch the video below for more about Dr. Close.
Calling All Carver High School Alumni
We Need Your Memories and Memorabilia
This is a call to all Evans and Carver High School alumni! We need your help in producing a history wall for the new Spartanburg High School. The purpose of the project is to pay tribute to the role that both Carver and Evans played in the culmination of Spartanburg High School.

If you have memories you'd like to share - please reach out to us. We're also looking for pictures, letter jackets, cheerleading uniforms and other school memorabilia.

Please see the adjacent flyer for contact information and you can also visit .
Annual Health Fair Promotes Wellness and Relationships
Keeping employees happy and healthy was the name of the game at the 2nd annual 7Cares Health and Wellness Fair, held on Thursday, November 29 from 3pm to 6pm. Members of the District 7 family were given flu shots, blood pressure screens, stress management care, fitness education, as well as important health information and referrals to local services. Over 30 local, health and wellness vendors and organizations filled the Whitlock Flexible Learning Center, informing District employees of their services and even providing a few for free.
"One of the reasons we coordinate this healthcare event is to help our staff stay well and to foster relationships with our community partners," said Dr. Carlotta Redish, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.
Bravo to Maggie Cubitt, who finished the year with her 4th consecutive 5A tennis singles State Championship and led her team to the top of the tennis world as State Champions. Maggie has signed with LSU and will take her top notch talent to Baton Rouge!
Kudos to Jaylon Girdner and Moe Wedman on their selection to the North South football game that will be played on Dec. 15. These young men are doing great things on and off the football field. In this picture, the student athletes are being honored for mentoring future Vikings in their work as Teacher Cadets.
Congratulations to Nick Dixon on his selection to represent the Spartanburg Vikings in the upcoming 82nd Annual Shrine Bowl which will be played on Dec 15 at Gibbs Stadium. Congrats as well, to Viking Head Coach Chris Miller, who will be an Assistant Coach for the Shrine Bowl.
Meet Maggie Cubitt
She's arguably one of the most decorated athletes in Spartanburg High School history. Six-time All Region, six-time All State, four-time State Individual Champion, three-time SC Tennis Player of the Year (on the heels of a 4th), two-time National High School Tennis All American (on the heels of a 3rd), and a Tennis Team State Champion! WOW!
Seen Around Seven
These happy heroes from The Cleveland Academy of Leadership enjoyed the Spartanburg Philharmonic's recent "Heroes and Villains" performance, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.
It's not everyday a girl gets to be a princess, but at Mary H. Wright, it happens every week thanks to "Princess Wednesday." Read more on the story above.
No, it's not throwback Thursday at Pine Street Elementary School - it's Colonial Day and a chance to literally get a taste of U.S. History.
The Viking Band certainly had a banner year this fall - from their State Championship finish to the Veterans Day parade in DC, to this performance at the Marine Corps Memorial. Bravo!
Congratulations to these Spartanburg High School students who worked for months to prepare for the All-State Choir auditions. These 24 talented youngsters swill represent SHS in the 2019 SC All-State Choir.
Congratulations to our 5A State Championship Tennis Team! Bravo to Coach Seagle, Coach Garrity and team: Maggie Cubitt, Liz Yex, Carlee Mason, Dawaysia Crocker, Mary Lovette Pye, Eliza Hull, Payton O’Shields, Grace Till, and Anna Beeson.
The Thankful Tree at Jesse Boyd Elementary School was laden with blessings for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Guess who had fun at Pine Street School's Hovercraft Project!? That's Superintendent, Dr. Russell Booker!
The Great Gratitude Gathering at Meeting Street Academy is an annual November Celebration and relished by students and families!
With a roaring fire on the smart board, students at Carver Middle School set the scene for a mock snow day. As a pilot District for a new e-learning program in the state, students and teachers in D7 are learning how to connect come torrential rain, sleet or snow!
T he power of partnership strikes again. With the help of Connect Spartanburg, the Whitlock Flexible Learning Center is reminding students, they can do anything they set their minds to! The affirmative words on their t-shirts read, "I got this!"
Let's hear it for the Jesse Boyd Boosterthon. This annual fundraiser for the school netted $17,000 this year for Buddy Benches on the JBE Playground. Be sure to read more about the wonderful concept of Buddy Benches, that's sweeping the nation.
A big round of applause to these Girls on the Run at Mary H. Wright. You Go Girls!
Our very own Dr. Terry Pruitt in Chesterfield, SC as the guest conductor for their All-County Band.
Carver Middle School Principal Nicole Thompson says she and her students are plugged in and ready to go when the 1 st  e-learning day comes down the pike.
Amanda Kingsmore, art teacher at McCracken was named the South Carolina Art Education Association Middle Level Art Educator of the Year for her outstanding program at MMS and for supporting arts education.
D7 was proud to celebrate six student-athletes on their letters of intent during fall signing day. All have excelled in their sport and the classroom and have earned scholarship dollars for college.
Students at JBE racked up art awards during the Good News portion of the Board Meeting. Art Teacher Claire Louka's students earned awards at both the Piedmont Interstate Fair and the South Carolina State Fair.
Members of The Viking Band wowed the crowds with their Christmas carols during the City of Spartanburg's annual Dickens of a Christmas.
Always going the extra mile, Viking Early College students are regular "guest readers" at Meeting Street Academy.
The Drayton Mills Elementary School community donated over 500 pairs of socks during their October Sock-tober drive.
Thank you, Veterans! Students from the Early Learning Center paid tribute to the service of all U.S. military veterans during their assembly.
The cuteness cup runneth over. E.P. Todd's first-grade Thanksgiving program made everyone feel warm and fuzzy during a cold and rainy day.
This beautiful member of the Mary H. Wright Princess Wednesday Club could teach us all a thing or two about having fun with fashion!
Alumni Spotlight - Daryl Cunningham, Jr.
On Oct 27, Daryl Cunningham Jr., Spartanburg High School Class of 2016, was named the winner of NASA's T.I.M.E competition as part of it's Institute for Local Innovation (ILI) Technology Implementation Market Engine (T.I.M.E.) Challenge. Daryl is a student in his third year of an MBA program at Hampton University. His project, called “Invisible Wall,” is a child safety mechanism to keep balls from reaching the street while children play in the driveway. It uses a non-contact position sensor and a levitated interaction element to create a magnetic field.
In his acceptance speech, Daryl thanked NASA for the opportunity, saying it was a life-changing experience for him. Dennis Small, project manager of the T.I.M.E. Challenge, noted, “I am looking forward to working with Daryl to help his innovative idea come to fruition.”
All of us in D7 are eager as well!
Mark Your Calendars
Spartanburg Christmas Parade
On Tuesday, December 11, the area's largest holiday parade will roll downtown. You're invited to join the fun. The parade begins at 6:30pm.
Now - Jan 15, 2019

Now - Jan 5, 2019

Dec 7 - Dec 9, 2019

Tues Dec 11, 2018
Spartanburg Christmas Parade
Fri Dec 14, 2018
McCarthy Teszler Christmas Bazaar

Sat Dec 15, 2018

Fri Dec 21, 2018
Half Day/End of 1st Semester

Dec 24-31, 2018
Winter Holidays
A Word on the Bird!
In case you missed our annual recipe for the perfect Thanksgiving turkey - our children have a few pointers on "How to Cook a Turkey!"
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Follow Dr. Booker on Twitter: @rwbookerrussell
610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400